Kayak for surfing.

I’ve always considered the surf something you have to get through in order to kayak. It’s just been my own particular bias. But lately I’ve begun to see the possibility of surf kayaking in its own right. I’m planning a trip to Baja and plan to include three days of surf kayaking on the west coast. I’m taking my 18’ touring boat for a multi day expedition. Not good for surfing. So I think I need a new boat for surfing.

I’m 5’4, 140 lbs. A decent paddler, but surf is an emerging skill. I’d appreciate any suggestions for good surf boats.

You are in luck.

– Last Updated: Oct-05-07 12:40 AM EST –

If you live near Humboldt, one of the best surf kayak builders lives in your neighborhood. Check out Dick Wold boats and waveskis.


A friend of mine has a Stellar and it's really a good boat. DIck Wold has several models that are fairly friendly for entry level surf kayaking.
Keep an eye out on craigslist and you might be able to pick up a used boat for about $500- $800. Good models to look for from other builders are the Mako series (mini or aquarius are the best) boats from Mike Johnson/PScomposites. Lot's of good boats from Mega also. A used Marauder if you can find one is a really good boat. Riot Boogies are also fairly plentiful and a good place to start if you don't weigh very much. Valley also makes a good plastic surf boat.

If you are unsure about spending a lot of money try a Cobra Strike SOT and take it down to Baja. An older whitewater boat like a Necky Jive or similar model is also fun for getting started but you will eventually want a glass boat or a waveski.

Where are you planning on surfing in Baja? I can give you some spots if you are interested.

Some Thoughts…

– Last Updated: Oct-05-07 4:45 AM EST –

This is a good deal and a good boat for someone transitioning in from long boating:


The Trident is an International Class (IC) surf kayak -- slightly longer than 9' - for a lighter person. It's the lower version of the Cyclone. The question is whether the boat is equipped with fin boxes since an IC boat used for comp must be finless by the rules. But many IC boats are equipped with fin boxes and fins for non comp surfing. For most folks, fins give additional grip and drive on a waveface. Non fin surfers will use more shore side stern rudders (instead of wave side) to give more hold on a face. The cost of buying fin boxes and fins would be another $100, if the boat doesn't have these. But you have to be comfortable working with glass/epoxy.

I started surfing with the shorter, high performance (HP) surf kayaks designed for quick manuevering in the pocket. I love 'em when the waves and conditions are clean. They are slower on the paddle out and tippier than an IC. Harder to catch the wave until you get good at reading a wave and knowing where to drop in just as the wave gets critical. But once on, it's hard to beat the ability to do quick radical cutbacks, bottom cranks and lip bashes because they are shorter and lighter.

Having said the above, I'm digging more and more my longboard waveski -- 9' long -- which is comparable to an IC surf kayak. On sloppier days I can catch waves easier and sooner. The longer length makes paddling out, or against a strong wind, easier. It just a more relaxing craft to use. On a clean waveface, the longer craft has way more down the line speed, often resulting in getting way ahead of the pocket (or getting you out of "Dodge" if that be the case). At the same time, it's still manueverable enough to do the graceful carving(though not quickly slashing type HP) turns back to and away from the pocket.

IC and HP differentiation is akin to long board and short board surfing. The former emphasizes a more laid back "soul surfing" type of approach -- being "one with the wave." The latter is more progressive or radical where the (usually younger, more athletic) rider is striving to "rip" up or perform on rather with the waveface. Having said this, an IC surf kayaker has advantage over a long boarder with the paddle. Knowlegeable and aggressive paddle manuevers can make an IC boat perform more "progressively." Think of the paddle as a lever or fulcrum for speeding up and shortening the radius of a turn. A longboarder has to rely soley on good body english and a dip of his/her into the wave face for the same but lesser effect of a paddle blade to put some umph into the turning manuever.

Anyway, despite starting with HP myself. I tend to encourage newer folks to start with an IC and then add on a HP. I think the IC is just a more foregiving, relaxing but still sufficently manueverable craft to start off with. Even with the addition of an HP, there are days where one is just into a more relaxed, "soul surfing" style.

Also, SC surf festival is just 5 months away. it's a good place to check out surf paddling, demo and get a good deal on a used surf craft. A couple of years ago, I was drooling over a beautiful pink Trident at the Mega booth... Good thing someone bought it first. ;)


We have a selection of

– Last Updated: Oct-05-07 11:10 AM EST –

Mega Surf kayaks we can set you up with one!

Check out:


What is your height and weight?

We've also got a composite scarab that is red and white, carbon/kevlar hull, diolene deck. Sweet boat.

Have You Become A Dealer?

– Last Updated: Oct-06-07 5:46 AM EST –

are you now into "business end" of this boating thing now?

just curious.


Kayak for surfing

– Last Updated: Oct-06-07 7:25 AM EST –


Do you know how much they want for the
Scarab? I’m assuming shipping is a lot fro Michigan and to cover costs from UK.

Riot Boogie
Got one. Just starting out with it. No complaints so far!


scarab is about 1650
but it is carbon kevlar and brand new.

shipping is extra, but it is from MI and not from uk.

from looking at your profile
a mega x-ray would be sweet!

N. Ca., have a surf kayak 4 sale
It’s a Dick Wold “Das Boot”. Good condition. $500

see link to Dicks web site:


I live just north of Sacramento.

If you are in the area and would like to look at it let me know and I’ll send an email address and phone number.


Kind of pricey !
Unless that’s a historical specimen for a museum. That’s a very old boat. If you are looking to pick up a used boat try posting on Boatertalk if anyone is bring a boat to sell at Jalama Dec 7-9.

Maybe you should email Dick and
let him know how you feel about one of his best selling boats.


Really ?
Best selling in 1989 maybe …


You’ve confused “Surf” boot with …

The “Das” boot.

The below quote is from the link that you provided:

“In 1989, I designed my first “surf boot,” and seven models later came up with the most successful early design, the Das Boot.”

I wonder what the time span is for a kayak designer to produce and complete refinements on 7 models?

granted, the earlier statement I made was based on a conversation that I had with Dick about 4 years ago. I emailed him last night to ask about how many orders he receives these days on the “Das Boot” and he stated:

“I still make a das boot or surf machine on occasion, but if you can

fit in 1 of my new designs I believe they are better HP surf kayaks”.

So I guess I should have rechecked with Dick before posting the above statement. However, calling the boat a “historical specimen for a museum” and supporting your argument by misquoting information from his web site can best be described as a pretty snarky reaction on your part.

The Das Boot has the extra speed that goes with the extra length of the older designs. Admittedly the newer (shorter) designs are better suited for the aerial moves (I wonder if that’s what marciat had in mind)? The Das Boot is fast and does very well going back out through the breakers. BTW, I have to ask, how you ever paddled one?


My point was too much money for it.

– Last Updated: Oct-10-07 10:06 AM EST –

For a boat nobody wants anymore.

Yes I have surfed a Das Boat ... it was held together with duct tape and the person wanted $250 or trade for a surfboard.

I think your quote from Dick Wold says there are lots better boats out there....

"I still make a das boot or surf machine on occasion, but if you can
fit in 1 of my new designs I believe they are better HP surf kayaks".

This is certainly not his best selling model as you claim. Now go surf if you know how.

Yeah, you’re probably right…
Mucho Aloha to you surf boy